By Debbie Carson, Online Editor
SEBASTIAN — After weeks of discussion and debate, the three Sebastian billboards promoting the city’s ecology, family focus, and wildlife are on display after being put up over the weekend.
The boards encourage drivers to exit at mile marker 156 to visit Sebastian. Slogans include “Sebastian – An Unspoiled Paradise,” “Sebastian – Play in Paradise,” and “Sebastian – Join the Crowd.” All three promote the Web site, GoSebastian.com, which is a portal to the Sebastian Chamber of Commerce’s site. The address was selected to track the number of visits using the Web address promoted by the billboards.
Sebastian city leaders hope the billboards are a boon to tourism to the city and bring in people who will spend money and stimulate the local economy.
However, the boards have not been without some controversy over a billboard located less than a mile north of Exit 156.
City leaders discussed installing a new billboard at the site to replace an aging structure. However, officials were unsure whether or not the City of Fellsmere held jurisdiction over structure, since it is located within the city limits.
Instead of trying to push forward with an improved structure, officials placed a vinyl ad for Sebastian on the existing board.
Drivers heading north on Interstate 95 from Vero Beach can catch one board on the right side of the highway a couple miles south of Exit 156. Those heading south on I-95 can find another one less than a mile north of the exit on the left-hand side.
Drivers heading south through Brevard County can find the third billboard nearly 40 miles north of Sebastian, around mile marker 195.